MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY

Lord, help us!

So many sad, scary, maddening, unbelievable things happening in the world lately. I just saw a video of what happened in Charlottesville and I am appalled. The hate. The anger. The mob. The exhilaration, the adrenalin of them coming together as a group. The unbelievably strong conviction they have that what they’re doing is right. The self-righteousness. The pride. Armed and ready to kill, yet according to one of them, they “showed incredible restraint.” Except for one who ran over some people with his car and killed one person, which they believe was a justifiable act. I just couldn’t believe it.

And here in my own country! The killing of a 17-year old boy. Does it matter if he was guilty of using and/or selling drugs? Innocent until proven guilty. And then when proven guilty, let the judge give him a sentence. He shouldn’t have been killed based on suspicion! He shouldn’t be killed even if found guilty! I know so many things are messed up in our justice system, corruption in the prison facilities and all. But I’d rather hope for restoration, reformation, rehabilitation, than believe that people are hopeless. Who are we to judge that they will never change? The Lord can change even the hardest of hearts. And this kid may have been innocent! Too many “Nanlaban” (resisted) stories in the news for me to think that it was not as witnesses said. Staged to look like a “justified killing.” It’s so scary to think that this could happen to any of us. I’ve watched enough (or too many) crime shows that depict real life to know that corrupt police officers can indeed plant evidence, twist facts, manipulate the system. Abusive of their power. Corrupted by greed. Empowered by their leader/s. Not all police, thank God, but some really are unworthy of trust.

And then about two weeks ago, my husband and I “survived” a shooting. We were two restaurants away from where the crime was committed. We did not see anything outside, but we heard gunshots, followed by screaming, then we saw people running inside and then towards us. At that time we had no clue what exactly was happening. But we immediately stood up and started moving. I grabbed my friend by the arm and pulled him. In my mind, I was panicking, wondering if it was a bomber or some guy going on a shooting spree, in which case I could get shot from behind. The danger was real. The fear was real. But I thank God for His grace and protection. First, my kids and my mom were not with me when I met with our friend. Second, King followed, so I felt safer that he was around. Third, King came 30 minutes before it happened (he came into the mall passing through the area of the crime scene). Fourth, I parked where I don’t normally park — on the other side. Fifth, we were able to walk away quickly, exit the building, and get home unharmed.

Call me sheltered, but this was the first time something like this happened so near me. I cannot believe that somebody was shot in quite literally our backyard! It was apparently a hit, an assassination. How easy it is for some people to take a life is beyond me. Some say justice was served because the man was a corrupt government official. I’m not so sure I agree that murder is justice. And I can’t believe that the perpetrators did it in such a public place! A wholesome, peaceful, public place! My kids, and many other kids, hang out by the fountain to play. Imagine the horror of parents who were actually there at that time. Traumatic and terrifying, I’m sure. I mean, it was traumatic for those who saw none of it, but were locked up inside a restaurant or caught in the stampede of people running out. My kids or any of us could have been caught in the crossfire, since reports said the guy’s bodyguards fired back. Too real. Too scary. Too crazy. Thank God no one else got killed, or was severely injured.

 

Lord, help us! We want to live in safety and in peace. We do not understand everything that is going on or why, but we trust in Your goodness and love for us. We hold on to your word that You go with us, that You will never leave us or forsake us. We trust that through trouble, we can draw strength from You, we can take refuge in You, and You will protect and save us. Help us do our part, not only in keeping our families safe, but by example, teaching our children to be God-fearing, law-abiding, Philippines-loving citizens. To be accepting and respectful of others, yet unafraid to use our influence to share the Gospel, to bring glory and honor to You. To fight, not with arms, but with our hands clasped and our knees bent. We declare You Lord of the Philippines, and we claim that blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Psalm 91

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
    though ten thousand are dying around you,
    these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
    and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”

 

 

My Kids, Parenting

Easter Experience!

Easter Sunday. Kids swam in the kiddie pool with their friends, morning till early afternoon. Service in the afternoon. Pizza, Xbox after. Dinner out to remember my dad’s passing 5 years ago. Last minute dress shopping at a store near the restaurant.

All was well until I went back to get my newly steamed dress. The girls, including my goddaughter, came with me. The saleslady, however, folded the dress into a bag, which obviously made the steaming useless. I insisted that the dress needed to be hung because I was going to use it the next morning. The saleslady made some phone calls, got permission to give me the hanger for free (haha thanks, that should be part of your steaming service), but could not find a plastic cover to protect the dress. The lady steamed the dress again and apologized. It was fine since I could bring the dress straight to the car, which was parked right out front.

I sent the two older girls, Danae & Raerae back to the restaurant. It was a few meters away, so I was confident that they’d be okay. I waited till I saw them go inside before Noelle and I walked to the car. That was a quick 5 minutes, but walking back to the restaurant, King met us at the mall entrance with a “WHERE ARE THE KIDS?”

He and my mom apparently left the restaurant, WITHOUT TELLING ME! He tried calling me, but my phone was charging at home. I ran back to the restaurant, hoping to see the girls there — they weren’t. Panic started setting in. Pictures of them screaming, being taken against their will by big, awful men kept flashing in my brain. And the other one’s not even my kid! How on earth was I gonna explain this to her mom?!! I ran around, searching, mad at King for not telling me that he was even planning to leave the restaurant. In situations like this, I normally don’t cry, I get mad (hahaha). Noelle was with my mom at this point. When I saw a guard walking, I decided to ask him and praise God, he knew who I was talking about! He said something about the security office being in the 2nd floor. As I was marathon walking going there, two people asked me if I was looking for two girls. I guess they saw my face, frantic with worry. They pointed me to another guard whom they saw with the girls. That guard told me that he did find the two “english-speaking” girls (his words haha) and told me that my companion (King) was on his way there, but directed me to the security office anyway.

I ran as fast as I could to get to them. Danae cried as soon as she saw me, saying she was “so worried.” I was huffing and puffing, and sweating like a pig (is that even a real expression? how much do pigs sweat?), but I was so relieved to know that they were safe and sound. I was pretty impressed with SM South Mall’s security. They were on top of it, thank God!

We apologized to the girls for OUR mistake. I should have just let them come with me. OR King should never have left the restaurant (hehehe). I also called my friend Bev, who entrusted her daughter to me for the night. Raerae got worried and said, “Oh no, she’ll get mad at me.” I said “Of course not. She won’t be mad at you.” Then Danae said “She’s gonna get mad at you, mom.” Hahaha thank God she didn’t freak out! Anyway, LESSON LEARNED. NEVER TAKE CHANCES WITH OUR KIDS. Thank God for His protection over them, despite our mistakes. It was the first time something like that happened to us, and I don’t want to ever experience it again. EVER.